Code of Conduct

ASHG is committed to fostering a welcoming environment that is safe, collaborative, and productive for supporting dialogue and discovery for all attendees at ASHG-sponsored events and values the participation of all attendees and participants in its events. All who register to participate, attend, speak at, or exhibit at an ASHG event agree to comply with this Policy.

ASHG expects that all attendees, media, speakers, organizers, staff, and exhibitors associated with any official ASHG-sponsored event will adhere to the following principles:

  • Respect common-sense rules for public behavior, personal interaction, courtesy, and respect for private property.
  • Be considerate and respectful of differing perspectives during the meeting.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the Society, the meeting venue, hotels, and city.

ASHG also prohibits any form of harassment, sexual or otherwise. Accordingly, some behaviors are specifically prohibited, whether directed at other attendees, ASHG staff, speakers, exhibitors, or event venue staff:

  • Intimidation, stalking, harassment, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention, or discrimination towards fellow attendees, Society staff, and others.
  • Abusive, harassing, or threatening behavior towards any other attendee, volunteer, or staff. This behavior will not be tolerated and may result in expulsion from the event.
  • Yelling at, threatening, or personally insulting participants or presenters (verbally or physically).

Participants asked to stop engaging in hostile or harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

The conduct rules apply to all ASHG venues, including official ASHG-sponsored events and related ASHG-sponsored social events, as well as the annual meeting and Society online presence (i.e., ASHG Society and meeting hashtags, Facebook pages, and other social media). All participants are expected to treat others with respect and consideration, follow venue rules, and alert staff or security of any dangerous situations, violations of this Conduct Policy, or of anyone in distress.

Violations of this Conduct Policy should be reported immediately. If you feel physically unsafe or believe a crime has been committed, you should report it to the police immediately.

To report a violation to ASHG:

  • You may do so in person at the Annual Meeting at the Meetings Management Office, Location TBD, in the convention center.
  • At any time (during or after the Annual Meeting), you can also make a report through ASHG’s dedicated website, which will collect and promptly relay information in a secure and sensitive manner. Policies and procedures for ASHG’s management of allegations are available below. As needed, staff may involve venue security or direct you to local law enforcement as appropriate based on the specific circumstances.

Event attendees and participants are expected to cooperate with any ASHG investigation into reports of a violation of this Conduct Policy by providing information requested by ASHG that is relevant to ASHG’s investigation.

At ASHG meetings and other events, participants often combine professional activities with social interaction with other participants, venue staff, and other attendees. While ASHG encourages such networking and strengthening of connections between participants, ASHG reserves the right to remove any participant whose social attentions become unwelcome to another and who persists in such attentions after their unwelcome nature has been communicated. ASHG also reserves the right to remove any participant or attendee who appears inebriated and who engages in conduct that interferes with the ability of other attendees to participate in and enjoy the meeting. ASHG may remove any individual from attendance or other participation in any ASHG-sponsored event without prior warning or refund. If ASHG, in its reasonable judgment, determines that an individual has violated this Conduct Policy, ASHG may also prohibit the individual from attending or participating in future ASHG events. ASHG will also report on the outcome of any investigation to individuals who have reported a violation of this Conduct Policy.

Procedures: After an Incident is Reported

Allegations regarding misconduct by anyone attending or participating in the ASHG Annual Meeting are taken very seriously. These include but are not limited to all ASHG registrants, exhibitors, authors and vendors participating at the meeting. ASHG encourages prompt reporting of violations so immediate action can be taken to address the concern. Complaints may also be raised after the ASHG event has concluded, according to the following procedures.

  • ASHG has partnered with an organization dedicated to confidential intake for allegations of misconduct. If you have such a report, please contact NAVEX Global Ethics Point by phone (via the toll-free hotline at 844-519-9731) or online. They will ensure full information is received in a considerate fashion and that ASHG has information necessary to take any further action. It will also ensure you have a record of the information you provided. Reports may not be submitted anonymously as that would preclude an adequate investigation. Depending on the nature of complaint, complete confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, but all complaints will be handled with discretion and with the aim of preserving confidentiality to the extent compatible with conducting an appropriate investigation.
  • You may do so in person at the Annual Meeting at the Meetings Management Office, Location TBD, in the convention center.
  • Once an allegation is received, the incident will be reviewed promptly by the ASHG Executive Director, Senior Director of Meetings, and members of ASHG’s advisory group on professional conduct, a subset of Board members. Note: if any of the above individuals were to be named in an allegation, they would be excluded from seeing the information.
  • Based on this initial information, the complainant will be interviewed either in person or by telephone for support. The complainant will be asked to provide their views on what they would like to have happen next. Based on the sole assessment of the ASHG advisory group, the Society may determine a range of next steps.
  • If the allegation is pursued, two ASHG representatives will raise the complaint with the alleged offender, who will be given a chance to respond. If facts are not in dispute, action will be taken by the ASHG Board based on its assessment of the level of misconduct.
    • In many cases, we hope that a conversation — including a request to understand the negative impact of the behavior and to cease the inappropriate behavior — will be sufficient. However, the Society reserves the right to take additional steps.
    • If the severity of the allegation is high, it is a possible repeat offense, or it is determined that the case is beyond ASHG’s capacity to assess claims and views on either side, ASHG may refer the case to the alleged offender’s home institution (Office of Research Integrity or similar), employer, licensing board, or law enforcement for their investigation and decision.
  • If the conduct violates ASHG’s Policy, ASHG may expel the individual from membership in the Society.

Questions?

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